Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tool Time Tuesday...Organize Your Christmas

Hi everyone. Today's Tool Time isn't so much a project, but more of tip for Christmas organization.

Each year I share a tour of our home decorated for Christmas and one the question that is asked over and over is..where do you keep all your decorations?

For 20 years, I kept everything in the attic. Big PAIN!! We have a pull down ladder and...well, you can picture the frustration. My goal last Christmas was to clear a spot in the basement for easy access. Our basement is unfinished, so it doesn't have to be pretty down there!!

I used 2 old tables for top storage and great storage underneath too.

Here's the first tip...

Use color coded boxes for every holiday. If all your holiday decorations are in the same place, colored boxes help to identify them easily. Red for Christmas, brown for autumn, orange for Halloween, blue for Easter etc...

Second tip...save any sturdy box for small storage. Shoe boxes, gift boxes etc.

These boxes hold things like...

  • window candles and the bulbs that go with them
  • small decorative evergreen trees
  • Christmas cookie cutters
  • florals

Third tip...invest in ornament boxes. Any type is great, but make sure they have individualized compartment for ornament protection.

These just have layers of cardboard with cardboard dividers. These really keep your ornaments safe and sound.

Final tip...LABEL every box.

There's nothing more frustrating than going through a ton of boxes searching for that one Santa decoration.

I've been collecting Christmas decoration for over 25 years. Most everything is purchased at the after Christmas sales...50% - 90% off. Boxes help keep new things organize, so I know where they are the next year.

I know plastic storage containers can be expensive in some stores. Look for sales and try to buy one or two boxes a year and before you know it, you have enough to make your holidays a little less stressful at decorating time!!

If I had to pick one tip for you to use it would be the Labels...very, very helpful. Saves time and money, because you know where things are and you won't purchase duplicate items.

Happy decorating,

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  1. I store mine in red bins as well. Another idea is to alphabetize or number your tubs. Example: Tub A - write down on a file card everything that is in that tub. Next time you need an item, you go to your card file, look up the item and go straight to the correct tub. No more rummaging around in tubs! I have used this system for years and it works great!

    1. I number mine as well. I taped a list of everything that goes in that box onto the inside of the lid so it doesn't get lost.

  2. Wow, you are so organized! You are my hero!

  3. wwwoooowwww come to my home to my sewing room pleeeaaaasseeee I need some organization too!! congratulations!!

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  5. We store our decorations in plastic foot lockers that we bought years and years ago. Each trunk contains decorations for a particular room. Some rooms have more than one trunk, but they are all labeled so if I am decorating sparsely one year (as in this year due to health issues) I can bring up only the trunk marked small tree, the one marked small tree decorations, and the one marked family room (which will contain the stockings, stocking hangers, etc.) The boxes marked living room, powder room, foyer, and outside will unfortunately have to wait until next year....

  6. Instead of buying ornament storage totes, ask your big box grocery store to give you their empty apple boxes. Apples are packaged in large rounded papermache layers, perfect for protecting your ornaments, with no high edges so your odd shaped ones can be stored next to the regular round balls. Just be sure to keep your layers roughly an even height (I put all my 2-1/2" ornaments on one layer, all my 4" ornaments another, etc. My top layer is all my flat ornaments).
    Sometimes the store will just give you the papermache part, which can easily be cut to fit into your existing totes, or sometimes you can get the boxes as well.

  7. Several years ago I made the ornament storage boxes like in this article. They work beautifully.


  8. I use the colored totes too. Helps to know what color is for which season. On my labels, I put a general list of what's in the tote.

  9. We currently use large purple tubs and fortunately (or unfortunately) we downsized this year and many items had to go so now have some empty tubs. After only six weeks of sorting and unpacking we still have quite an organizing mess in the garage. I love all of your suggestions and expertise - so talented and look forward to being able to put the car in the garage once again. Hee, Hee Judy C

  10. It's so hot in Texas that we can't store anything that could possibly melt in the garage, much less the attic. I guess it's going to be my big closet in the new house... Also, when you buy one or two boxes a year, you tend to get mismatched boxes. That drives my OCD heart insane. I'm going to splurge this year and just get a bunch of plastic bins. New house, new storage!

  11. Oh I wish I had a basement!! I've also seen where people use solo cups glued to cardboard to separate their ornaments. You cut the cardboard piece to fit inside the red plastic tub then take it back out and arrange the solo cups to fit on the cardboard piece. Now glue the bottoms to fit on the cardboard insert. Put it back in the box. Now place one ornament in each solo cup. Place another cardboard piece on top of the solo cups cut to fit in the red plastic container and you can glue another layer of solo cups on this layer etc..you have made a cheap DIY ornament container..

  12. All of my Christmas stuff (barring the tree itself and too-tall wrapping paper) fits in my daughter's car seat box. :)

  13. Store wrapping paper (even the too-tall rolls) in cheap garbage bins. Walmart has them for $5 and you can get lots of rolls of paper in each one. An advantage to storing your paper vertically like this is that you can see every roll, you don't have to sort through to the bottom like you do in the expensive horizontal totes they sell for paper. Garbage bins are also really good for wreaths---stack them vertically with the smallest wreath on the bottom. You can even put your paper in the center of the wreaths if you need to consolidate your space even more.

  14. Thank you for sharing your organizing tips! I think color-coding will help in my case:)

  15. Love your organization tutorials very much Karen! You're very very good at it!!

  16. This is an amazing storing system. Very jealous!

    Check out my 25 days of Christmas Series!


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  18. I will not use cardboard boxes again if I can help it, other than the one the tree came in. Between silverfish and stacking issues, the plastic boxes are wonderful. But as a warning - if you use them in the attic, don't stack directly on top of one another, place a couple of boards between layers. The attic WILL get hot enough to soften the lids and they can crack :-( .

    I'd love to move all the decorations to the nice dry easily accessible basement.

  19. So many amazing ideas. I obviously need to re-organise my sewing room to make it work better for me. Unfortunately, it's my computer room as well, with all those gadgets. Help! I need a lightbulb moment!


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